February 2024’s best new sample packs for all genres

We present a list of this month’s best sample finds, cinematic strings, jungle breaks, Afrobeat vocals

Musician working on a track in a studio, photo by Alberto Case via Getty Images

Musician working on a track in a studio, photo. Image: Alberto Case via Getty Images

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We’ve scoured the internet once again to select a handful of sample pack releases that are worthy of your attention. We have to admit, we went a bit string-crazy this month, with no less than three string-based sample libraries. In our defence, each one sounds fantastic and has a unique use. Elsewhere we have premium breakbeats, ear-candy sound effects, lively Brazilian guitars, a unique glass orchestra and more.

Sonokinetic – Ostinato Quartet


The latest in Sonokinetic’s Ostinato series focuses more on the direct and intimate sound of the string quartet. It includes a broad range of riffs from expressive sustained swells through to faster 16th note ostinatos, all expertly performed and captured in the cinematic concert hall in Zlin.

It includes over 3,000 samples across 2.5GB of files, with cello, viola, and two violin instruments recorded in four mic positions. Additional features include an inversion arpeggiator, harmonic and rhythmic shift, voicing select, bass invert, and record and drag MIDI functions. It requires Kontakt 7.7.2+ and is compatible with Komplete Kontrol and NKS.

Download at sonokinetic.net

BHK Samples – Premium DnB & Jungle Breaks


D‘n’B and, especially, jungle are built upon the sound of manipulated funk breaks, but there are only so many ways you can flip the Amen Break. Thankfully, BHK Samples has provided a fresh collection of newly recorded funk drums that have been expertly programmed into production-ready breakbeats.

The pack includes 116 drum loops from 160 to 174 bpm, provided in both Wav and Rex2 formats. There’s a fair bit of variety in pitch and processing, plus plenty of pattern variations and subtle fills that are perfect for adding some live drum vibe to your tracks.

Download at loopmasters.com

BandLab Sounds – Ear Candy Vol. 2

Free to download

Although, fundamentally, the music of a track is the most important element, it’s often the small details that can elevate it from good to great. This free collection from BandLab Sounds of 100 ear candy effects can be used to help emphasise moments and transitions from section to section.

It includes a variety of whooshes, sweeps, bleep, and impacts, alongside glitchy noises and vocal risers. You’ll also find percussive loops at 75 bpm, that cover heavily processed claps, snares, hats, toms, cowbells, cymbals, shakers, woodblocks and more.

Download at bandlab.com

[Editor’s note: BandLab and BandLab Sounds are part of Caldecott Music Group, the parent company of NME Networks and MusicTech.]

Vital Vocals – Afrobeat Vocal Drops


These days, Afrobeat vocals can often be heard adding warmth and energy to a wide array of genres. This new vocal pack from Vital Vocals includes 5 song kits of male singers at 98 to 126 bpm, which breaks down into 131 loops, 126 phrases and 19 vocal one-shots.

The parts are arranged in a variety of ways, including lead vocals, dual harmonies, choirs, resonant low vocals and energetic high vocals, alongside additional adlib phrases. When combined, the loops form a captivating call and response that can add an authentic Afro vibe to any genre.

Download at loopmasters.com

Spitfire Audio – Abbey Road One: Soaring High Strings


Our second string instrument this month is larger sounding and a little more cinematic in style. Soaring High Strings is a new addition to Spitfire Audio’s Abbey Road One series and weighs in at 8.5 GB.

It was recorded in the iconic studio with 12 mic and mix options, and adds the majestic sound of 16 1st violins and 14 2nd violins playing in unison. It includes legato, long and short articulations with multiple dynamics, round-robins, slurred notes and alt fast attacks for both sweeping legato phrases and high speed runs.

Download at spitfireaudio.com

Loopmasters – Daybreak Lo-Fi Hip Hop 2


This excellent sequel from Loopmasters manages to effortlessly blend the pioneering vibe of 90s instrumental lo-fi, with more a modern-sounding hip-hop flair.

It features 150 loops of drums, percussion, piano, guitar, electric, upright and synth bass, synth, keys, instrument, music box and more, at a head-nodding 72 to 87 bpm. You’ll also find 213 drum and instrument one-shots, and of course, no lo-fi hip-hop pack would be complete without some vinyl crackle.

Download at loopmasters.com

UVI – Glass Orchestra


This instrumental library captures the one-of-a-kind Glass Orchestra created by master craftsman Jean-Claude Chapuis. It loads into UVI Workstation 3.1.11+ or Falcon 3.0.0+ and features over 78,000 individual samples.

A variety of bespoke mic techniques were used to record the 14 different instruments, which are then presented as three mixable dials in the GUI. You also get a range of editing controls alongside 2 LFOs, a suite of sound effects, an Arp/Sequencer and MPE support for added expression. It’s a unique collection that can sound beautiful, haunting and familiar, or strange, otherworldly and unsettling.

Download at bigfishaudio.com

Organic Loops – Brazilian Guitars 2


Organic Loops returns with a second instalment of passionate Brazilian guitar samples. Performed by guitarist and composer Adonis Tsilimparis and captured on high-quality mics and equipment, the pack includes a mix of delicate picking, syncopated strumming and complex fingerwork.

It includes 75 acoustic guitar loops alongside 75 complementing bass guitar & upright bass patterns, all at 90 to 110 bpm tempo. It’s a varied collection that could be used to add some emotive, Latin American flair to any song, soundtrack or media composition.

Download at loopmasters.com

Apollo Sound – Original Funk Soul Keys


The Rhodes Mark I Stage 88 Electric Piano and Hammond C3 organ are timeless instruments that have appeared on countless records over the years. This pack from Apollo Sound sees pro piano player Michael Berry tickling the ivories on both instruments with great skill and a natural sense of funk and soul.

It includes 104 riffs at 80 to 108 bpm, and 40 one-shots that cover a variety of chord shapes, stabs and slide effects. Both the loops and hits are presented in dry and wet versions so you can add your own effects and processing should you so desire.

Download at loopmasters.com

Soul Rush Records – Vintage Hollywood Strings


We’ll end this month’s list with our third and final string pack. Vintage Hollywood strings stands out by offering the glamourous sounds of golden era Hollywood. Performed by respected violinist Christophe Mirkes, and composed and recorded in the heart of Berlin, it includes 135 loops at 90 to 174 bpm.

There is a range of riffs available, covering close harmony melodies, staccato harmonies, moving chords, tremolo chords, and glissando counterpoint, with plenty of charming vibrato thrown in for good measure. It’s an evocative pack in a style that you don’t often hear so it could prove to be a useful compositional tool.

Download at loopmasters.com


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